Armenia votes in snap parliamentary elections
On June 20, a total of 2008 polling stations in 38 constituencies opened at 8:00 for snap parliamentary elections in Armenia.
The country’s authorities and opposition came to the unanimous conclusion that election is the only way out of the political crisis in the country following its defeat in the second Karabakh war.
Some 25 political forces are participating in the elections – 21 parties and 4 blocs.
The election is unique in the sense that all former presidents and the current acting Prime Minister of the country are participating in it. According to preliminary opinion polls, the main struggle for power will take place between these former and present officials.
According to the Central Election Commission, 2,583,823 people have the right to vote in Armenia.
New voting rules
The voters will not use pens or make any marks on the ballots. Moreover, all ballots containing any entries will be considered invalid.
Instead, all voters are given a ballot per each candidate participating in the election. Voters need to choose a single ballot, put it in an envelope and place it into the ballot box.
Observers and media
The election is observed by 8 international and 19 local organizations. The election is covered by 49 foreign and 68 local accredited media.
Acting PM Nikol Pashinyan wins snap parliamentary elections in a landslide
The Civil Contract party of the acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan won the snap parliamentary elections in a landslide, Armenia’s Central Election Commission has announced after counting 100% of votes.
Prime minister’s Civil Contract party has obtained a total of 53,92% votes. Ex-resident Robert Kocharyan’s Armenia bloc has a total of 21,04% votes while another ex-president Serzh Sargsyan’s I Have the Honor bloc has gained 5,23% of votes.
Armenia’s Preliminary Parliamentary Election results are out, PM Pashinyan’s party in the lead
As per the preliminary results from 80 polling stations, the ruling Civil Contract party of the acting prime minister Nikol Pashinyan is in the lead at the moment, having received 6,107 votes, or 58,04%.
The I Have The Honor bloc which consists of the Republican Party of ex-President Serzh Sargsyan and the Motherland parry of the former head of Armenia’s National Security Service Arthur Vanetsyan has obtained 596 votes 5,66%.
Prosperous Armenia bloc leaded by one of Armenia’s richest people Gagik Tsarukyan has received 538 votes (5,11%).
Armenia bloc headed by ex-President Robert Kocharyan has obtained 2,316 (22,01%).
The vote counting now continues.
Voter turnout in Armenia’s 2021 snap parliamentary elections
Head of the Central Election Commission Tigran Mukuchyan has announced that a total of 1, 281, 174 people (49,4%) voted in the snap parliamentary elections in Armenia today.
A total turnout in Yerevan is 51,55%. In the regions, the highest turnout has been registered in Syunik, with a total of 60.38% attending. The situation in other regions is as follows: Aragatsotn – 50%, Ararat – 50,87%, Armavir – 44,47%, Gegharkunik – 45,47%, Lori – 46,73%, Kotayk – 50,08%, Shirak – 41,24%, Vayots Dzor – 56,05%, Tavush – 53,48% of voters.
A total of 1,260,840 (48,63%) people voted In the previous parliamentary elections of December 9, 2018.
Polling stations have closed in Armenia
Starting from 20.00, voting has closed at all polling stations and the vote counting has begun in Armenia.
Voter turnout in Armenia’s parliamentary elections reaches 38.17% at 17.00
The Central Election Commission reports that 989,972 voters have already voted making up for for a total of 38.17%.
In Yerevan, 40.15% of the total number of voters – 344,868 people have attended the polling stations.
The highest turnout outside the capital has once again been recorded in Syunik , with 46.83% voters attending. In other regions, the situation is as follows: Aragatsotn – 37.89%, Ararat – 37.5%, Armavir – 31.82%, Gegharkunik – 37.38%, Lori – 37.38%, Kotayk – 38.77%, Shirak – 32.27%, Vayots Dzor – 42.66%, Tavush – 41.37 % of voters.
For comparison, during the previous 2018 parliamentary elections a total of 1,025,003 people (39.54% ) had voted by 17.00.
In order to enter the National Assembly, political parties will have to overcome the 5% barrier, while 7% bar is set for political blocks.
I Have the Bloc accuses authorities of pressuring its candidates and supporter
The alliance said in a statement that over the past 48 hours, “the interim authorities have engaged in shameful persecution of the leading political forces, namely, candidates and supporters of the I Have the Honor bloc.
The opposition bloc is referring to searches and arrests, “most of which the courts have already canceled”. The statement goes on to say that various sources report local authorities at the regional polling stations “giving out instructions to pressure voters”.
The bloc consisting of the Republican Party of the third President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan and the Rodina party of the ex-head of the National Security Service Artur Vanetsyan draws the attention of international and local observers to these violations and expresses its readiness to provide the necessary assistance in addressing them.
At 14:00, the turnout in the elections was 26.82
According to the Central Election Commission, 695,626 people, or 26.82%, have already voted in the elections.
The turnout in Yerevan was 29.28% (251,504 voters).
Syunik turned out to be the most active among the regions, here the turnout was 33.37%. Least of all go to vote in Shirak – 21.15%.
In other regions, the situation is as follows: Aragatsotn – 24.68%, Ararat – 26.31%, Armavir – 21.85%, Gegharkunik – 24.41%, Lori – 26.15%, Kotayk – 27.54%, Vayots Dzor – 29.1%, Tavush – 29.79%
PM candidate Arman Babajanyan talks about shelling of his car
Arman Babajanyan, who heads the party list of the Shirinyan-Babajanyan bloc, has put forward his own account of the shelling of his car. In a conversation with reporters, he said:
“The day before Levon Shirinyan received a call from abroad. The caller warned that an armed group was mobilized in Armenia, targeting the first three of the Shirinyan-Babajanyan bloc. It is possible that the shot was a warning one. We are strong, our will cannot be broken, we continue our work, we urge our citizens to participate in the elections,” said Arman Babajanyan.
Searches in Sisian – "Armenia" bloc protests
The bloc’s spokesman Aram Vardevanyan said that in the city of Sisian, law enforcement agencies searched their headquarters.
“The reason for the search, according to the court’s decision, was the search for a printing press for ballots. The absurdity is that such a device could not exist here, since ballots are printed only in special printing houses, none of which can be located in the headquarters.
The purpose of this action is to paralyze the activities of the supporters of the “Armenia” bloc on the very day of elections, which is an unprecedented phenomenon and a previously unheard-of shame. […] We call on law enforcement agencies to act within the law”.
The bloc called for necessary countermeasures to be taken by the CEC and ombudsman.
The police also issued a statement saying:
“As part of the criminal case opened at the Main Directorate of the Criminal Police, the police conducted searches in one of the offices of the Hayastan block in Sisian, in the apartments and cars of the block’s representatives. At the moment, there are no detainees. “
Turnout at 12.2% as of 11:00
Deputy Chairperson of the Central Election Commission Laura Galstyan announced that turnout in the parliamentary elections was 12.2% (316,291 people) as of 11:00.
The turnout in Yerevan was 13.9% – more than 120,000 people. In total, 859,000 people have the right to vote in the Armenian capital.
PM candidate’s car fired at in Yerevan
Arman Babajanyan, candidate for prime minister from the Alliance of Democrats Shirinyan-Babajanyan bloc, has reported a shooting on his car.
“They were shooting at my car. When a murderer, a thief is free, and, moreover, participates in elections, we will not be able to avoid such incidents,” Babajanyan wrote on Facebook.
Who exactly he meant, Babajanyan did not specify.
The politician attached several photos of the shelled car and promised to provide all the details a little later.
“For Decent Peace and Economic Growth” - Former President of Armenia Robert Kocharian
The leader of the Hayastan bloc has cast his vote, coming to the polling station with his wife.
At the exit from the polling station, when asked whether he believed in the victory of the bloc he heads, Kocharian answered with a question:
“Are you in doubt?”
The ex-president also commented that leaflets against him with the inscription “Killer of Armenians” were scattered in the streets of Yerevan.
Kocharian called this incident a severe violation of the law:
“There are serious suspicions that this was done by the authorities or at their direction. If the law enforcement agencies do not identify the perpetrators in the next few hours, we will issue a statement that the authorities were responsible”.
Shots fired at polling station in Armenia
The incident in the village of Azatashen, Ararat region, was reported to the police at 08:30, half an hour after the start of voting. As it turned out, there was a quarrel on the spot between representatives of the Prosperous Armenia and Verelk parties.
One of the incident participants fired a gas pistol several times. An investigation is in progress.
6 people arrested for violations of the electoral process before the start of voting
The press service of the General Prosecutor’s Office of Armenia reports that during the election campaign, 388 signals were received about violations of the electoral process.
123 messages received on the basis of publications in the media,
91 messages were received from residents of the country, including through the “hot line” of the prosecutor’s office,
2 – from the human rights defender of Armenia,
65 – from users of social networks,
57 – operational data received from the police.
Most of the complaints received related to the distribution of electoral bribes.
As a result, 126 out of 338 appeals were sent to the investigating authorities for the preparation of materials. Criminal cases were initiated in 26 cases, 14 persons were charged. 7 people have the status of suspects. 6 people have already been arrested.